BOSTON, Mass. – (October 26, 2003) – Keith Kelly, of Ireland, defended his title while Kate O’Neill, originally from Milton, Mass. won her first Mayor’s Cup cross country championship at Boston’s Franklin Park on Sunday, October 26.
Kelly, 26, who resides in Providence, R.I. and who represents New Balance, beat runner-up Alan Webb, 21, of Fairfax, Va. (Nike), by 36 seconds. Kelly’s time of 23:19 over 8 kilometers was 29 seconds faster than he ran last year (23:48) when he took home his first Mayor’s Cup Revere bowl.
Passing the mile mark in 4:32, Kelly led Karl Savage, 24, of ZAPfitness in North Carolina; Paul Mwangi, 36, of Westchester Track Club in New York and Webb. By two miles, Kelly (9:18) had taken a seven-second lead over Webb (9:25) and the field, consisting of chasers Savage, Mwangi and – farther back – John Mortimer, 27, of the Boston Athletic Association and Jamaica Plain, Mass.; Vinny Mulvey, 25, of Ireland; and Cain Williams, 28, of the B.A.A. and who resides in Providence.
Kelly hit the four mile mark (18:52), having placed even more distance between he and Webb (19:17), who now ran alone in second. Mwangi (19:24) trailed Webb by seven seconds with Mortimer (19:28) another four seconds behind in fourth.
Kelly’s long, loping stride seems to have closed just a bit from three years ago when he made his first major impression in the U.S. in winning the 2000 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship, but the Providence College graduate’s dominance has remained intact. He cruised a final time over the course’s landmark, Bear Cage Hill, while the gap between the five finishers behind him remained similar over the final half of the race: Webb (second place, 23:55), Mwangi (third place, 24:02), Mortimer (fourth place, 24:08), Mulvey (fifth, 24:21) and Williams (sixth, 24:25).
A field of 180 finishers ran in the men’s championship race, and the Boston Athletic Association – led by Mortimer and Williams – put all five of its scorers among the top 30 finishers overall to regain control of the Squires Cup, presented to the winning team. Bryn Mawr (Penn.) Running Company, last year’s team champion, was second this year and finished four points behind the B.A.A. by a score of 69 to 73. The B.A.A. men last won the men’s championship in 2001. Thirteen teams fielded full squads this year.
The B.A.A. also won the women’s team title, successfully defending its 2002 title and posting a winning score for the fourth time in the last six years. (Besides this year and last year, the B.A.A. women also won in 2000 and 1998). Seven teams scored (72 finishers in the women’s championship 5K), and the B.A.A. (66 points) placed four finishers among the top 15 and all five among the top 24 overall finishers. Reebok Boston was the second place team with 95 points.
Kate O’Neill, 23, currently residing New Haven, Conn. and who competes for Nike, pushed the women’s pack through the initial mile. Amy Rudolph, 30, of Providence (adidas); Atalalegh Ketema, 20, of Ethiopia (Westchester Track Club); and Kathy Newberry, 25, of Williamsburg, Virginia (adidas) ran as a group with O’Neill with Kate’s twin sister, Laura (New Haven and Nike), and Ann McGranahan, 24, of North Carolina (ZAPfitness) just steps behind.
By two miles, the women’s 5K championship race had whittled itself down to Rudolph, Ketema and Newberry, but Kate O’Neill still appeared to hold the advantage. With a finish which includes 600-meter perimeter run around The Playstead (large, open field), the race came down to a two-person battle between Rudolph and O’Neill. O’Neill tested Rudolph, a Team USA California athlete, with a burst with 400 meters remaining and the result was clear: O’Neill took first (16:33) by two seconds over runner-up and U.S. Olympian Rudolph (16:35). Newberry was third in 16:37, McGranahan was fourth in 16:43 and Laura O’Neill was fifth in 16:54.
Kelly intends to run a full, fall cross country schedule, and the New England Championship at Franklin Park on November 9 is next for him. Subsequently, he will return to his native country to run the Irish National Championship on November 30 with the intention of earning a position on the Irish team to compete at the European Championship in Scotland on December 14.
Both Kate and Laura O’Neill said the Manchester (Conn.) 4.75-mile Road Race on Thanksgiving Day may be their next effort. After that, they will look to represent the U.S. team for the 2004 IAAF World Cross Country Championships by running the USA trials race in Indianapolis this winter. The O’Neills, who attended Milton High School just 10 minutes from Franklin Park, last raced on the course (6K version) as Yale University juniors two years ago (Fall 2001) at the NCAA Region I Championship. On Columbus Day earlier this month (October 13), the pair placed second (Kate) and fourth (Laura) at the USA 10K Championship in Boston (Tufts Health Plan Run for Women).
The Franklin Park 5K drew 175 finishers and two youth races (boys: 147; girls: 143) brought the day’s total to 717, making the 14th edition among the largest in event history. The Mayor’s Cup is regarded as the most competitive open cross country race on the East Coast and has been presented by the B.A.A. and adidas since 1997. USA Track & Field – New England and the Boston Center for Youth and Families directed the races, which featured $4,200 in prize money awards.
For complete results in the youth, championship and open competitions, go to: www.coolrunning.com
Boston Mayor’s Cup Cross Country Races
Franklin Park, Boston, MA, Sunday, October 26, 2003
55-degrees, overcast; breezy, 10-12 mph swirling winds
1. Keith Kelly, 26, New Balance, 23:19 ($500); 2. Alan Webb, 21, Nike, 23:55 ($250); 3. Paul Mwangi, 36, Westchester Track Club, 24:02 ($150); 4. John Mortimer, 27, B.A.A., 24:08 ($100); 5. Vinny Mulvey, 25, unattached, 24:21 ($50)
1. BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, 69 points ($500); 2. BRYN MAWR RUNNING COMPANY, 73 ($250); 3. PHILADELPHIA TRACK CLUB, 134 ($150); 4. REEBOK BOSTON, 158 ($100); 5. WESTCHESTER TRACK CLUB, 194 ($50)
1. Kate O’Neill, 23, Nike, 16:33 ($500); 2. Amy Rudolph, 30, adidas, 16:35 ($250); 3. Kathy Newberry, 25, adidas, 16:37 ($150); 4. Ann McGranahan, 24, ZAPfitness, 16:43 ($100); 5. Laura O’Neill, 23, Nike, 16:54 ($50)
1. BOSTON ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION, 66 points ($500); 2. REEBOK BOSTON, 95 ($250); 3. WESTCHESTER TRACK CLUB, 157 ($150); 4. GENESEE VALLEY HARRIERS, 162 ($100); 5. ATHLETICS EAST, 174 ($50)
For further information, contact:
Jack Fleming, Boston Athletic Association (mobile, 617-694-8218)
Complete Results: http://www.coolrunning.com/results/03/ma/Oct26_14thAn_set1.shtml